On Thursday, the morning after the Board's Special Session where they voted to close Lynwood as an elementary school and asked for a list of 50 - 60 teachers to lay off, Stinson sat at his computer and typed out the message below and had it sent to all employees in the District. Does he commiserate with the employee's fear of loosing their jobs in this tough economy? No. Does he lay out any framework for pulling together as a team to survive the chaotic times? No. Does he begin to express how near the District is to the bottom of the mess and how some tiny ray of hope can be seen that the childrens' education will remain unscathed? No.
Here is Superintendent Don Stinson's message to all employees at this horrid time in the District's history:
February 25, 2010
Last night at the school board meeting, a portion of the enrollment management recommendation was approved by the board. We will immediately begin preparing to move the ECC to the Lynwood building and create five 1-6 elementary schools at Blue, Gold, Stephen Decatur, Valley Mills, and West Newton. In the very near future, you will receive information about the school designs that were recommended by the Enrollment Management Design Team. Although we will not be implementing the school designs next year, implementation is anticipated to take place over the next two to three years.
Listed below are the elementary schools, the principal assigned to the school and the school design.
SCHOOL --------------- PRINCIPAL ------------- SCHOOL DESIGN
Blue Academy ---------- Matt Prusiecki ---------- STEM/Creative Arts
Early Childhood Center-- Susan Bryant------------ Kindergarten
Gold Academy---------- Nan Wiseman------------ School of Inquiry – Global Studies/ Creative Arts
Stephen Decatur-------- Robert Kehrein ----------Expeditionary -Balanced Calendar
Valley Mills------------- To Be Posted------------- Project-based Learning
West Newton---------- Janet Larch ----------------Creative Arts
He is actually setting up themes of instruction for each school while the transportation budget is being cut in half. These types of open schools require huge expenditures in transportation as any child in the District can attend any school in the district. He offers no solace. He offers no details of how the next steps will be taken. He offers no leadership. He offers themes to take effect before the community can put in a new majority on the School Board.
The current School Board needs to get Don Stinson to leave. He made this huge financial mess. He has chosen to lay off teachers, force bus drivers to take a big cut in salary or leave entirely, and raise class size - while protecting administrators and their new digs at the Southwest Pavilion. AND if that weren't enough reason to ask him to leave. He has no leadership skills with which to combat the dismal morale his actions have caused. And, he does not have the continued support of the community. He is taking actions that he may see as securing his legacy - but they are NOT in the best interest of Decatur or Decatur's children.